It is a part of your everyday walking!
Do you use your arm swing after your stroke? An arm swing in walking is a natural motion where each arm oscillates or swings in an arc with the motion of the opposite leg. That’s a mouth full, but we have done it after we started walking.
Your arm swing is becoming a forgotten part of walking. We live in an era of cell phones, groceries, strollers, large purses, and any number of other growing loads. The ability to swing our arms freely is being lost, even without the damage which a stroke causes.
Swinging arms in an opposing direction with respect to the lower leg does its magic. The walking motion creates momentum in a couple of ways. Suffice to say, it is important that people use their arm swings naturally. Studies point that arm swing improves the stability and energy efficiency in walking. These positive effects of arm swing have been used in sports. For example, it is vital in sprinting.
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We forget, that as mammals who happen to be up on two legs, our arms continue to play a critical role in walking. Imagine a dog or cat attempting to walk or run while using a cell phone. Ridiculous! From a strictly mechanical standpoint, s/he would fall on its face. Her/His front legs are critical for walking and breathing.
Humans are incredibly creative at adapting to imbalance when conditions arise. These adaptive compensations are often at the price of pain, breathing disorders, or fatigue. It takes the stroke patient more energy than it would a “normal” person.
Understanding the brain functions on the rhythmic arm movement and its coordination with the lower limb could enable the development of effective strategies for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. One group studies the vibrotactile feedback system (e. g. Fitbit or Garmin) to look at the arm swing and the gait of stroke patients. Hopefully, in the near future, we will learn how to use our affected arm and its swing more than we currently use it. Our lives depend on our walking properly…and our arm swing!
Remember, you can follow me on my FB group or on my YT channel. Just find The Stroke Recovery Circle or all one phrase. I’m told, that they are humorous, entertaining & interesting. Check out for yourself!
Sources: https://sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo?journalid=254&paperId=10003131 https://advance-physicaltherapy.com/2016/the-importance-of-arm-swing-during-walking-and-running/ & https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9456929
Thank you! To your success!